David A. Bandel
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This morning, I was watching the local news broadcast (local to the country, anyway). I was at once amazed, shocked, and dumbfounded by the content. I watched footage as Official Panamanian government vehicles were used to remove student desks, etc., from a government primary school building in a rural area. OK, well I guess it is news that a school is being closed/relocated/whatever.
But the reality is much more bizarre. I had to check the calendar, because even though I was watching a Japanese-built 40 inch LED TV in HD, the song from The Rocky Horror Picture show started playing in my head: "Let's do the time warp again ...". And perhaps we _had_ done a time warp. A quick check of the computer told me today was 16 April 2012 (and not b.c.). That check also ruled out "Day of the Innocents", the Latin version of April Fool's Day normally celebrated on 28 Dec.
OK, to cut to the chase, they were reporting on a school that was "possessed" and children that were the subject of demonic possession. And this was being reported with a straight face, by adults (mostly parents of some of the students). A couple of these adults were nearly hysterical. And not from laughing.
Well, I can understand that, I was almost hysterical just watching. Probably would have split my gut laughing, but they were serious! And calling for help from the Catholic Church! (I'd be very interested in hearing their official line on all this.)
The news also carried footage of some young girl (I'd say based on physique to be about 13 or so) having what appeared to be a seizure, spasoming on the ground. But not a word was mentioned of doctors or epilepsy (I assume those things are known of), only demons and demonic possession. Ugh. Talk about balanced reporting.
I must have died and gone to some kind of insane asylum last nite. Nope, still got a pulse -- not that that actually proves anything. So what's really going on here?
Well, so far I've ruled out belated April Fool's joke, time travel to the 13th century, and death/reincarnation into an insane asylum (at least, that is my fervent hope). I'm down to this being some kind of mass drugging (LSD introduced into the local water supply) or other mass halucination causing widespread stupidity.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring. Will it be a televised exorcism of the school building? Perhaps witches burning at a stake? I hold out little hope for any kind of rational explanation at this point.
How can we (humanity) be at the cusp of scientific discovery into the beginnings of the universe, on the verge of understanding the physics of black holes and extreme gravities, about to discover just how full of life the universe (or at least our tiny insignificant little galaxy) is, and have folks blathering on about demons and demonic possessions? Incongruous doesn't even begin to describe this.
What's worse, I suspect the Catholic Church is behind the nonsensical religious fervor that causes pious adults to espouse completely superstitous drivel. Demonic possession. Really. And just what is the Ministry of Education saying/doing? Care to comment Minister Molinar? After all, it's your school they've closed/moved.
I give up.
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